UNIVERSITY OF BUCHAREST REVIEW 2017
CALL FOR ARTICLES
Issues 1 & 2/2018 are thematic issues, the general theme being “Truth(s) and Alternative Facts”. The deadline for submissions is 31 October 2018.
We welcome interdisciplinary approaches, which explore all possible intersections of literary and cultural studies with the other disciplines in (and even beyond) the humanities.
Truth(s) and Alternative Facts
In the mid-twentieth century Erich Auerbach saw his Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature published, a book he had been working on for years and to which he could give appropriate time and energy only in exile in Istanbul, having fled Germany under Nazi threat. It is intriguing and relevant now to think of this intellectual and, more widely, human odyssey in terms of truth(s) and lie(s). Here was an author dedicated to the lifelong study of reality and its re-presentation accused of telling lies and ousted from a university chair for such ominous behaviour. More exciting still to think that Auerbach completed his cornerstone work in the absence of his working library, amazingly quoting from memory chunks of Western canonical works in the original! Everything had been stored in his erudite mind.
Mind indeed is the basic concept when it comes to truth and facts, and, of course, to truths and alternative facts. (And the connection between mind and lying is recalled in the transparent etymology of such Romance verbs as It. mentire, Sp. mentir, Port. mentir, Fr. mentir, and Ro. a minţi.) It is what specialists in philosophy, religion, and art operate with as a rule. Engaged in identifying (the) truth under linguistic, cultural, or societal vestments, in search of nuda veritas, they carry on a tradition originating in Aristotle and his aesthetic theory, yet traceable further back to the Pre-Socratics, whose enquiry into truth and truth- related matters remains fundamental and foundationalist.
Lies propagate, circulate in human communities and may eventually become established by general agreement as truths. Once a lie is told, it needs more lies to make it acceptable and the snowball effect it can undergo may lead to common wisdom dislocating epistemic premises. Theories have been erected along the centuries to consolidate and stabilize these and similar issues, among which: substantive theories (e.g. correspondence, coherence, consensus, constructivist, and pragmatic) and minimalist or deflationary (e.g. performative, redundancy, pluralist).
We invite papers in English addressing topics including (but by no means limited to) the following:
– truth in relation to reality
– truth and the self (as individual or collective identity)
– truth-telling as a compelling religious commandment, ethical constraint, political responsibility
– relative truth and liberal democratic practice
– truth versus opinion, absolute certainty versus sufficient assurance (c John Stuart Mill)
– lies and lying as scapegoat strategy
– lying in the face of the “naked truth”
– forms and samples of truth’s historical embeddedness (from aletheia to “by troth” commitment, to verum ipsum factum, to simulacra etc.)
– faith-based empirically based truth
– lying as sin, failure or punishment
– truth and half-truths
– faithfulness, fidelity, veracity as virtues or constraints
– truth and “regimes of truth” and epistemic shifts (c Foucault)
– the theatricality of truth procession/precession (c Baudrillard)
– essentialist v man-made truth(s)
– the “dust in their eyes” manoeuvre and political success
– post-Enlightenment consequences (from the moral law and the cold stars in the sky to corner-bending conclusions regarding human communities)
– the high tech “democratization” of truth(s) and lie(s)
– the epistemic way-out (truth in terms of knowledge, belief, conviction, acceptance, perspective etc.)
– trompe l’oeil effects
– white lies
– lies meant to protect, spare and shield
– the explanation of reality by myths and legends
– strategies of mendacity and alternative truths practiced in authoritarian politics
– truth and lies as weapons or irresponsibility in journalism
– lies as investigative steps to uncovering the truth (police work, literature, etc.)
– truth and fidelity in adaptation
– historical fiction and the question of truth
– continuity and/or discontinuity in the sequence of modern truths propounded in the neo- classical, romantic, realist, modernist, postmodernist paradigms
– truth in religions
UBR has been acknowledged as a top academic journal by Romania’s National Council for Higher Education Research (CNCS). A recipient of the B academic ranking, our journal makes it possible for all its hosted articles to receive full academic recognition in the Romanian evaluation system and be included in such international databases as EBSCO and C.E.E.O.L. We are open to all research authors, whether established or junior (including Ph.D. candidates), affiliated or independent, domestic or international.
If you are interested in having a version of your paper considered for publication, please send contributions in electronic form by 31 October 2018 at the latest. You will receive a confirmation message.
Papers are invited in: British, Irish and Commonwealth Literatures, American Literature, World and Comparative Literature, Cultural Studies, Intellectual and Cultural History, Art History and Visual Culture, Literary Theory, Translation Studies.
The Editorial Board